Olympian Marketing Plan: Date an A-Lister

Last week, when I was doing the morning show circuit with Michael Phelps, he was asked on camera if he was dating anyone. Phelps predictably said that was his personal business.

I'm a big fan of Michael's and if I were managing his brand, I will tell him this: Go star hopping on the dating circuit and do your best to make sure everyone knows about it.

I've already talked plenty about the tight marketing window Olympians have to cash in -- some think that even a guy like Phelps is a couple of great football games away from being forgotten about, until right before the 2012 games.

What's the best thing to do to become a permanent item in the papers and in the magazines? You know it: date the right stars.

Rumors were floating around that Phelps has been aggressively approached by Lindsay Lohan, who is supposedly begging Phelps to take her out on a date. Phelps reportedly rebuffed the offer, which I'm not sure is even true.

If it is, I think it's a good move by Michael to turn it down in this case. Associating with the wrong people (like Lohan) could hurt your image, but if a big A-Lister who doesn't allegedly get drunk or in an accident every minute, comes after you, go for it.

It means "Access Hollywood" and People magazine won't forget about you -- and that should be important to you and your sponsors.

Need a mentor? Look at Lance Armstrong. Sheryl Crow. Tory Burch. Mary Kate Olsen. Kate Hudson.

Dating and relationships might seem like personal business, but the bottom line for Phelps is that everything is now out in the open. That's why he might as well take advantage of it.

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